Google Analytics introduces new mobile stats with answers for news sites

The new version of Google Analytics adds a section with data on mobile visitors that can help news organizations learn about their smartphone and tablet audience.

First, to access the new features be sure you are using the newest version (if you see a red link in the top-right page menu that says "New Version," click it).

Here are the three main tools this gives you, and some examples of important questions they can answer about your website.

How to access the new mobile data section.

Mobile visitors overview: Visitors > Mobile > Overview will show you statistics about your visitors on mobile devices, and contrast it with non-mobile visitors.

Questions the data answers: How much of your traffic comes from mobile now, and how is it changing over time? Are your mobile visitors more likely to be new to the site? Strategic question to consider: What can you do to retain them?

Mobile devices: Visitors > Mobile > Devices will show you stats for each type of mobile device that visits your site. Be sure to explore the secondary menu just below the graph, which lets you sort by device name, device manufacturer, operating system and others.

Questions the data answers: Do iPad visitors stay longer and read more pages than others? What referral sources are iPhone, iPad or Android users coming from? What pages are they landing on most often?

For an example of what you can learn, this map shows where's mobile device traffic in New York comes from.

Mobile visitor locations: Visitors > Mobile > Devices then click the "Map Overlay" tab above the chart. This will show you a map of where your mobile visitors are coming from. Zoom in to see where your traffic is.

Question the data answers: Where are most of your mobile users? Strategic question to consider: Are there Web products or apps you can launch to serve their specific communities?

After you familiarize yourself with these tools, decide which metrics are important to your businesses strategy and devise a plan to track those metrics over time. Use the data to measure success and adjust your tactics periodically.

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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